, which is part of Capitol Broadcasting's New Media Group, is teaming up with TV station affiliates across the United States and
to offer local television news video over Sprint's wireless network.
Called "My Local TV", the offering can be found on channel 58 in the Media Player section on select Sprint phones. My Local TV is also listed in the News & Weather category.
My Local TV is the latest offering from News Over Wireless, which first made news, weather, sports and other information available over wireless phones in December of 2004.
The subscription-based service includes only video.
"This is really about giving people what they want," said Sam Matheny, general manager of News Over Wireless. "This is another option for people who want video only and want to get news and information on their wireless phone."
The monthly fee is $4.95 for unlimited access. The fee is in addition to Sprint's Power Vision data plan.
"Sprint is expanding our local news capabilities with this offering as viewers are requesting more and more local content," said Steve Fletcher, product marketing manager for Sprint. "Sprint and News Over Wireless began offering local television news content in 2004 with a downloadable Java application and My Local TV is a great example of how we continue to extend and enhance our programming in new and innovative ways."
News Over Wireless worked with WRAL-TV to launch a video offering from the CBS-TV affiliate in Raleigh last month.
My Local TV features video news from local affiliates around the country.
"This is the only option for local video coverage," Matheny said. "The rest is national."
Local affiliates working with News Over Wireless include stations in Charlotte, Los Angeles, Denver, Pittsburgh, Austin, San Francisco, Sacramento, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, New York, Minneapolis, Miami, Green Bay, Washington D.C., Kansas City, Nashville, Indianapolis, Birmingham, and Baltimore.
Cellular service providers have more than 215 million customers, according to the Cellular Telephone and Internet Association.
Some 28 percent of wireless handsets are capable of supporting video services, and an estimated 1 percent of cellular customers subscribe to video services, market research firm NPD Group reported recently.
eMarketer, another research firm, estimates that 2 million Americans watch video over their wireless phones, and of those 400,000 pay for subscription services. Those numbers will increase to 7.6 million and 1.2 million respectively in 2007, to 15.3 million and 3 million in 2008, and 35.9 million and 8.6 million in 2009.
News Over Wireless continues to talk with other carriers about offering its My Local TV product, Matheny said.
The first news offering, which remains available, includes video, text, Doppler radar images, weather and other information. News Over Wireless offers that service through Sprint and Verizon.
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